Gransnet forums

News & politics

Can anyone apart from the elite, say what they want from Brexit

(185 Posts)
Whitewavemark2 Mon 28-Oct-19 08:21:18

I am aware that this blog post treads on contentious ground. But I think it only fair to say that I could not answer European’s questions as to what Brexiters want, put to me last week.

I can answer why we got Brexit. Austerity and the attitudes of indifference that led to it can answer almost all aspects of that question in some way or other. If an elite does not care eventually the majority find a way to bite back. And they did. So I am not saying I do not understand why a majority voted as they did. I think I do. I am instead saying I do not know what Leavers want now.

It’s clear that the government wants to pursue radical de-regulation on everything from worker to environmental, social and financial protections. Their goal is Singapore-on-Thames where they can show contempt for international norms and standards on every imaginable issue, and depart from previously hallowed ground on matters such as the NHS. Their desired outcome is a country with a more powerful and relatively richer elite, and they are indifferent as to whether that reduces the income of all else in the country. They, at least, can be understood.

But why do so many still support Leave when it is so apparent that this agenda is so harmful to them? And I mean harmful in the sense of very obviously imposing restrictions on their well-being? What is the trade off? Where is the gain? What advantage does the pursuit of English nationalism provide that makes it worthwhile having despite it making most worse off within the country, and by international comparison?

I know I am told, time and again, that I must seek to understand the Leaver. And I have tried. And no Leaver I have met has ever come close to being able to answer the simple question ‘how will your life be better by leaving given that you know there are costs from doing so?’ The best most do is deny the cost. But they still can’t explain the gain.

Richard Murphy
Oct 2019

Whitewavemark2 Mon 28-Oct-19 08:24:05

A reply from Pilgrim

I believe that it’s all about notional headline stuff for them – notions of sovereignty, the impact of immigration, the source of law – plus ignorance – that of our own government agreeing to European law rather than supposedly having it imposed on us (most Leavers are actually against their own Government co-operating with the EU). Mix in a healthy dollop of backward looking wishful thinking – ‘make the UK great again’ in splendid isolation – because we have not come to terms with the loss of our Empire

The Tories in an effort to stay in power have gone native with the Leavers (since May was PM anyway).

I say again that many people are misled – but they are misled because they are unhappy with their lot – they have seen changes that they cannot explain that make them mistrustful of the world and easy prey for people like Cummings and Farage. They trust no-one except those who pander to their worst fears and prejudices. They are being played by the part of the Establishment which itself never came to terms with sharing power and want Britain to be great but stupidly think it can only be via incoming investment.

This Establishment cadre wants Britain to be great but unlike their forefathers are not prepared to pay for it themselves.

Leavers are programmed by the media to accept the Establishment’s view on the EU and therefore ignore the reality of the consequences for their real lives. They are just being used.

The Left in this country is associated with the weak. Those who vote Tory and Leave are Thatcher’s children and are drawn to the idea of standing on their own feet and making their way in the world come what may. To accept Corbyn is to admit defeat and shame.

This what Thatcher has done to us – created a bunch of people who are hardened to the point of not believing there is a better way to run a society.

The softening of the Left under Blair and its borrowing of US style welfarism has not helped the Left either – it’s a system that consciously makes people self conscious about needing help – no wonder many want to go no where near it or feel that it is their fault that they need help – not the stupid way the economy works.

MaizieD Mon 28-Oct-19 08:27:16

Murphy's blog can be found here:

Many of the comments are worth reading, too.

Anniebach Mon 28-Oct-19 08:29:34

Never thought of the South Wales Valleys as Tory and Thatchers children.

MaizieD Mon 28-Oct-19 08:36:12

Care to elaborate on that, Ab?

M0nica Mon 28-Oct-19 09:50:54

I think the mistake being made is thinking that many of those who voted leave - or remain - had considered the subject deeply and voted the way they did because they clearly understood the issues and had made a considered judgment.

I can clearly remember a lot of vox pops at the time. The reasons given for voting Leave included that his wife would not get her pension at 60 and would have to work until she was 65, nothing to do with the EU. Several other interviews gave similar reasons that had nothing to do with the EU.

Broadly those in the less economically thriving areas of the country blamed all their ills on the EU and voted out and older people in those areas looked back with rose-tinted spectacles to a world without immigrants and when jobs were plentiful and believed these times would return with Brexit.

Such people cling to Leaving because they voted Leave and expect it to happen. The constant back and forths about borders, customs unions etc mean nothing to them. They just think that once again they are being shafted by those in charge and in London and that just makes them more resentful and just want out.

paintingthetownred Mon 28-Oct-19 09:58:34

I feel from a lot of those who voted leave just wanted to stick a proverbial two fingers up to the elite and it was a knee jerk reaction, not a considered weighing up of the facts.

Some people think Boris Johnson was and is the best thing that has ever happened to the Tory party. Meaning he has destroyed it and it is on its way out. Rather a brutal viewpoint, but I've heard it expressed. I do think he is a bully, in the way he goes about things, in his language and in politics. Astoundingly, even the Archbishop recently expressed the same view.

But change is coming. Thank heavens.

growstuff Mon 28-Oct-19 10:11:38

MOnica I quite clearly remember a vox pop at the time, which could have been a Monty Python sketch. A young man was sitting on a wall in South Wales and said "What has the EU ever done for people round here?" Just behind him was one of those massive blue billboards advertising that a certain project was funded by the EU.

I think you've summed it up very succinctly.

varian Mon 28-Oct-19 10:14:24

The sad fact is that they are being shafted by those in London - Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and the rest, egged on by the billionaire owners of The Sun, The Express and The Daily Mail who continue to mislead them whilst laughing all the way to the bank.

growstuff Mon 28-Oct-19 10:54:23

It was Cummings who came up with the strategy to appeal to people's emotions rather than their brains. He even bragged about it afterwards.

MaizieD Mon 28-Oct-19 11:01:47

Interesting article in The Conversation flagged up by a friend a few days ago:

If Brexit really is the issue which has riven the British public, dividing it into two irreconcilable blocs, why was it so low down the list of urgent concerns at the end of 2015? And not only then: the percentage of people rating it as a major issue had remained in the single digits for more than a decade.

This data does not support a view of Britain’s relationship with Europe as the cause of a longstanding and deep split within the British people. Instead it points to the referendum and the propaganda around it – before and since – as causing the split. Prior to 2016, although people differed in their views of Europe – sometimes strongly – it was never, for most, the overriding issue which it has become.

It addresses the point that has always intrigued me. We weren't interested in the EU before 2015 (I've even posted the polling graph a few times). Normally you'd expect a flurry of interest in a topic at about the time that it is 'live' but then it drops away. But anti-EU views are deeply entrenched now...

lemongrove Mon 28-Oct-19 12:09:51

‘Ere we go, ‘ere we go, ‘ere we go......Leavers are all an uneducated bunch who can’t tell their arse from their elbow and come from depressed parts of the country, where they no doubt hang about with a bit of straw in their mouths mumbling about ‘Empire’.All 17.4 million of them.If it wasn’t so crazy you would have to cry!
Whereas all Remainers had a wonderful education, live in thriving parts of the country and had deep meaningful debates with themselves about the wonders of the EU. None of them could possibly have voted Remain because they were scared of letting go of Nanny EU’s clammy hand.

We sadly remain a divided country because of the mainly Remain ( sorry, but it has to be said) twisting and turning and trying to overturn a democratic vote to Leave the EU and constantly painting ‘the other side’ as bad guys who didn’t know what they were voting for.Unless this attitude stops we will remain divided.It has to be accepted that the vote was to leave the EU and although remainers don’t have to like that and can struggle on fighting against it, what they should not carry on doing is to fight against anyone who voted to leave.
This is wrong, and exactly what the Archbishop of York was speaking about the other day.
You may not have wanted a thread that insults leavers WWM2 but that’s what you’ve got....and will continue to get by posters constantly re-running the referendum on here.

Dinahmo Mon 28-Oct-19 12:10:03

Does anyone remember the tv advert just after the referendum about the NHS? It purported to show how the £350 million would be spent. There was a split screen with one half showing a hospital waiting room with people who'd been waiting for hours and gloomy nurses and doctors. The second half showed what it could be like - a few people waiting and smiling faces from the staff.

When we first saw the ad on tv our first thought was that the Remain cause was stuffed. It's a great pity that Remainers haven't produced such good propaganda.

Anniebach Mon 28-Oct-19 12:16:33

Well said Lemon

Many areas who voted leave ,too stupid to think it through, are also Labour voting areas , m mmmmm

humptydumpty Mon 28-Oct-19 12:46:54

I agree Dinahmo, the remain campaign was apallingly lacking and that IMO was a major factor in the leave majority.

growstuff Mon 28-Oct-19 12:52:31

Sorry about that Anniebach. Maybe somebody should enlighten them. VoteLeave and UKIP quite deliberately exploited the genuine grievances of people who felt nobody was listening to them. They need foot soldiers to vote for them and they got them. And if you don't like that, try reading what Banks, Cumming and the rest of them have written themselves.

growstuff Mon 28-Oct-19 12:55:34

lemongrove It is a fact that those who voted leave tend to have lower educational qualifications and are older. Maybe you think it's not politically correct to mention it.

growstuff Mon 28-Oct-19 12:57:29

I'm afraid many of those who voted to leave reinforce the stereotype for themselves by what they say.

Anniebach Mon 28-Oct-19 13:04:34

So the Labour Party are dependant on those of lower educational qualifications.

Explains why I left the Labour Party

MaizieD Mon 28-Oct-19 13:09:00

Many areas who voted leave ,too stupid to think it through, are also Labour voting areas , m mmmmm

Ab, I suggest that you have a look at this study which shows that even in supposedly Labour Leave voting areas some two thirds of Labour voters (63%) actually voted Remain. The Leave vote depended on voters from other parties...

And please stop the inverted snobbery. No-one with any intelligence thinks anything but that Labour voters are as diverse in intelligence and educational achievement as any other group of voters.

GracesGranMK3 Mon 28-Oct-19 13:10:09

I actually put this on elsewhere as I didn't realise you had started a thread with it. It obviously caught a few of us with a sense of fellow-feeling.

It's this sentence that sums it up for me.

But why do so many still support Leave when it is so apparent that this agenda is so harmful to them? And I mean harmful in the sense of very obviously imposing restrictions on their well-being? What is the trade off?

But answer came there none.

MaizieD Mon 28-Oct-19 13:10:42

P.S. Most of the Leave voters I know in the Labour stronghold I live in are actually tory voters...

GracesGranMK3 Mon 28-Oct-19 13:13:13

I really wondered if we should set up a Brexit Bingo using the trotted out words that we hear time after time from the Tories/Leave. Then I realised someone would only have to keep track of one person's posts and they would win.

trisher Mon 28-Oct-19 13:17:05

The question being asked is "How will life be better if we leave?" and Lemonhas simply proved the blogger right, failing to give any explanation of how life will be better, simply telling Remainers that they have to accept the result of the referendum. Can it be that actually Lemon has no idea. how things will improve and suspects (if not knows) that things will be worse.

growstuff Mon 28-Oct-19 13:25:31

Same here Maizie. This is a Tory stronghold, but I can guarantee that the vast majority of those who voted to Remain don't vote Tory. Labour and LibDems are quite weak because they've more or less given up over the years. The demographic profile of the remaining Tory voters in this constituency tends to be older and home owning, who did very well for themselves as baby boomers and pre-baby boomers. I've spoken to quite a lot of them and I could bet on their attitude to a number of issues unrelated to Brexit.

However, just north of here is Cambridge, where nobody could claim educational standards are low. The City of Cambridge is a Labour/LibDem marginal (currently held by Labour) and South Cambridgeshire has a LibDem council.

Brexit has shredded traditional political party loyalties.